In my job role, I write blogs for other people on a weekly basis. This has led me to write about everything from water pumps, arts and crafts, adult sized school uniform and most things in between. Writing blogs about products and services that, generally, I have no prior knowledge or expertise in comes with a certain set of challenges, but it’s a task that I very much enjoy.
I believe that as a writer, it keeps me sharp but more importantly as an e-commerce professional I learn about a lot of businesses, what they sell, why they sell it and how best to sell it.
Writing blogs for other people is all part of the service that we provide. Most of our clients are so busy running their stores that blogging is at the very back of their minds; however, it’s a fairly vital part of the modern web. I thought it would be handy to share some of my processes, to both promote what it is we do as a company and how easy it is to blog.
You name something, and I can probably give you a handful of blog titles straight away; feel free to test me on that in the comments! You see, blogs don’t have to be bang on subject the whole time. It’s about getting the right traffic to the right site. Whenever I make this reference at our conference, I’m usually challenged by something like ‘Grey socks’. Well... School kids wear grey socks, their mums buy their uniforms and so it’s the mums you’ll need to target with the blogs. You could blog about healthy school lunch ideas, ways to prolong the life of school uniforms or interesting ways to get kids to do their homework. Whilst on your grey sock website, they might just stock up; either way, it’s positive traffic that might get shared on relevant forums and build your link profile.
However, coming up with an idea off the top of your head isn’t always the best way to start; keywords are still important. A bit of keyword research goes a long way as you need to answer the questions your target audience are asking. For a business, one of the best ways to do this is to literally listen to your potential customers. What questions do they ask in their e-mails and phone calls? These are all basic bones for a blog post.
Without direct access to customers, I use keyword tools, analyse trends and the company’s Google Analytics to discover potential talking points.
I don’t know the first thing about swimming pool maintenance, but I’ve written many blogs about maintaining a healthy pool, balancing chemicals and using the right equipment.
I do, however, know how to research and take influence. It’s incredibly hard to be original on the Internet, and whilst you should never duplicate, you can take inspiration from others. Before writing a blog on an unknown entity, I will generally skim through 5 – 10 similar blogs on the subject, pulling out the information that I need. I can then collate this in my own words and give the blog my own touch.
If I’m writing for someone else, I always know I’ve got a ready made editor to make sure what I’m saying makes sense; so that helps!
To wrap this up before I go on too long, blogging doesn’t need to be an arduous task. Blogspiration (I’ve made this word up...) is all around us. However, if you don’t have time to do it, you know who to ask. Whatever it is you do, I’m open to a challenge!